First generation MPV’s were staid and, frankly, rather boring – if family friendly.
All that’s changed now, as evidenced by the sporty looking all-new Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, which sits above the existing Zafira in the company’s model range and takes many of its design cues from the company's classy Insignia saloon.
It’s not just a good looker – it performs impressively too, offering, from launch, a choice of three lusty diesel engines and two petrol versions to choose from, ranging from 1.4 to two-litre, while a fuel efficient 119g Ecoflex version has just arrived, offering 62 mpg in the combined cycle..
High specifications, top quality materials and stylish design raise the bar for competitors in the Zafira’s market segment, with a panoramic windscreen giving occupants unrivalled visibility and sense of spaciousness while their seating is of limousine quality.
It’s a highly practical car too – a full seven-seater, with Flex-Rail offering a choice of cabin layouts while there are more than 30 storage spaces located conveniently around the cabin and a roof rack system that can carry up to four bicycles. There’s a generous 1,600 litres of luggage space overall.
Safety gets a high priority, with advanced driver assistance systems, an improved chassis for better handling, plus the availability of an innovative front camera.
Vauxhall’s marketing people are confident that, with it sleek styling, the Zafira Tourer will attract many who have never previously considered the MPV option when changing vehicles.
Mark Adams, Vauxhall’s design vice president, who styled the new car believes firmly that the Zafira Tourer can pick up healthy sales in the executive sectorl
Prices start at £21,000, which is more than £1,200 less than its Ford S-Max rival.
Since 1999, the two iterations of the current Vauxhall Zafira have dominated the compact MPV sector in Britain. Across Europe, 2.2 million have been sold, with around a quarter of those sales coming from the UK and Ireland.
Zafira sales today represent around 20 per cent of the compact MPV market, and combined with Vauxhall’s other compact MPV, the Meriva, they account for 36.1 per cent share of the compact MPV segment. Now, the Tourer is set to carve a strong niche for itself.